Scholars Conference

Center for Jewish History, New York, NY JUNE 19-21, 2016
The Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society in conjunction with the American Jewish Archives, American Jewish Historical Society, and the Center for Jewish History invites proposals via email to by November 1, 2015.
The 2016 Biennial Scholars’ Conference on American Jewish History welcomes proposals on all topics related to the American Jewish experience. We especially invite, however, proposals for papers and panels that explore American Jewish history in a global context, drawing on international, transnational, and comparative perspectives. We invite conference participants to conceive of “American Jewish history” as inclusively as possible, encompassing not only the history of Jews in the United States but also that of Jews in the Americas more broadly, from Canada to Latin America to the Caribbean.
By tracing the connections and disjunctions—cultural, familial, political, philosophical, ideological, economic—between American Jews and the wider world, we hope to consider some of the following questions:
  • How can recent scholarly approaches developed in fields such as transnational studies, studies of the Atlantic or Pacific Worlds, and colonial and postcolonial studies recast our understanding of American Jewish history?
  • Conversely, what can American Jewish history, which has long grappled with inherently international issues—such as migration, diaspora, and Zionism—contribute to a broader scholarly conversation about what it means to do history across national borders?
  • What happens when historians place local or regional studies of American Jewish experiences of immigration, industrialization, and urban life, for example, in conversation with scholarship about how such developments played out on an international scale?
  • How does studying the international reception of American Jewish popular culture change how we understand that culture?
  • When we consider American Jewish history in more global perspective, what communities and relationships come into view that might be obscured in histories defined by national boundaries?
The Scholars Conference Committee will gladly consider proposals exploring any aspect of American Jewish history. Papers and panels that explore the conference’s central theme of American Jewish history in global or international perspective are particularly encouraged, as are those that consider people and places traditionally underexamined in American Jewish history (Sephardic Jews; Jews in US colonies and territories; the Caribbean). We will accept proposals for individual papers, but we encourage the submission of complete panel proposals and roundtable presentations. We also encourage nontraditional types of panels, including seminars, performance analysis, and lightening sessions. We also strongly encourage international scholars to apply.  Limited travel assistance will be available.
In addition to a full program of panels and plenary sessions, this conference will also feature special sessions designed for the needs of graduate students in the field, including sessions on the digital humanities and grant writing.
All submissions must include a one-page (250 words) paper abstract, short (120 words) bio and contact information (including e-mail address and phone) for each participant, and a specific indication of technological needs. Complete panel proposals are strongly encouraged, and should include a brief rationale for the panel as a whole in addition to the abstracts for each paper. If you are submitting a panel format, please indicate as precisely as possible your plan for the session.
Please send proposals to by November 1, 2015.
For more information about the AJHS Academic Council and updates about the conference see  The Academic Council gratefully acknowledges the support of the Knapp Family Foundation for this conference.